Since the early ’60s, singer-songwriter and Indigenous icon Buffy Sainte-Marie has claimed to be a Cree woman who was born in Canada. But this thorough, carefully reported investigation by CBC News reveals that she’s not Native at all.
A simple Google search shows that virtually every available source says Sainte-Marie was born on the Piapot First Nation in Saskatchewan.
But that was contradicted late last year when a tipster provided CBC with a copy of what appeared to be Sainte-Marie’s birth certificate, obtained from a small town hall in Massachusetts.
That record said Beverly Jean Santamaria, who started going by the name Buffy Sainte-Marie early in her music career, was born in 1941 in Stoneham, Mass., north of Boston, to Albert and Winifred Santamaria — the couple Sainte-Marie claimed adopted her.
Mother, father and baby were all listed as white.